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“Spectacular Hike” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Wilcox Pass

Wilcox Pass
St. Albert, Canada
Level Contributor
62 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Spectacular Hike”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 May 2012

We have hiked Wilcox Pass many times in several seasons. The best time to visit is definitely in July when the wild flowers are blooming. From the top fo the pass you have a magnificent view of the Athabasca Glacier. The alpine meadows provide a superb picnic site.

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2 Thank wwrj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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65 reviews from our community

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English first
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
134 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 246 helpful votes
“Mountains, Flowers, Glaciers, Mountain Sheep - Perfect!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 January 2012

The hike up to Wilcox Pass will probably be one of the highlights of your trip to the Rockies. It's not very hard to do, and it has a little bit of everything.

Avoid the tourist traps at Columbia Icefields, and drive just a bit further south to the Wilcox Pass trailhead. From the parking area, the trail climbs steadily through forest and soon pops out onto a spectacular ridge with views of the Icefields across the valley. It climbs steadily from there all the way to Wilcox Pass.

Before the glaciers receded, Wilcox was the only route past the Athabasca Glacier, and it is possible to follow the trail all the way down to its exit at Tangle Falls. Unfortunately, a proposed new commercial development on Tangle Ridge will close off that access, so enjoy it while you can!

At the right time of the year (late July, early August) the meadows of Wilcox Pass have an incredible display of flowers. I don't usually take photos of flowers, but there are so many and they are so beautiful that I just had to! You will also bump into the local herd of mountain sheep - give them plenty of room. There is a cairn at the top, which is a good place to stop for a snack, or stronger hikers can continue to Wilcox Peak.

This is not a very difficult trail, with only about 325 metres of elevation, all on a moderate slope.

Visited August 2011
Helpful?
6 Thank petey1955
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kingston, TN
Level Contributor
143 reviews
102 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 190 helpful votes
“Best Views of Big Horn Sheep”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 September 2011

Started the Wilcox Pass Trail off the Icefields Parkway at 7:35 a.m. We were the first car in the parking lot at Wilcox Creek. This hike of 5 miles (8 km) with an elevation gain of 1100 ft (335 m) took us 4 hours, 20 minutes (which includes our lunch stop and the added distance up Mt. Wilcox). This distance is only to the official Wilcox Pass marker, a tall pole with a hiker sign on a rock mound - not a very interesting ending to your hike. However, if you turn Left from here and head up toward Mt. Wilcox you will get increasingly better views. Also after cresting the first ridge we saw the Big Horn Rocky Mountain Sheep that were at the second ridge. So we continued to the second ridge to the cairn that marks the highest point on that ridge. After stopping to take many photos of the sheep, we hiked back down to a more protected area out of the wind to eat our packed lunch and watch the sheep. It was very cold and windy at Wilcox pass, even though it was still and warm at the trailhead, so pack extra clothes. The highlight of this trail, for us, was the close proximity of the big horn sheep. For mountain views, we liked other trails better. As we concluded our lunch, the big horn sheep had moved on and the solitude of our surroundings was gone due to the long stream of hikers invading the Pass. Go early!!

Visited September 2011
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7 Thank TNKaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
36 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Fun hike!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 September 2011

This hike puts you directly across from the glacier that people ride the bus on.... Across from the Icefield Center. Anyway, the trail gets you above treeline where you can even see the big buses go up and down the glacier, it's pretty neat! It is only 5 miles roundtrip and well worth the energy and time. Along the way you see surrounding mountains, meadows, and the pass itself is nice too. High recommended on your way up to the Icefield Center!

Visited September 2011
Helpful?
2 Thank silly_traveler_hiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Breathtaking view, wildlife and more”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 May 2011

Instead of paying $50 for the Glacier adventure this is much better value: sighting of big horn sheep, nice view of glacier, water fall and the big wheel buses.

Helpful?
4 Thank Yapper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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